You may think you have seen all cinema has to offer. Then you see a man’s bellend getting chewed off in the midst of a shoplifting trip gone wrong. ‘Aaaaaaah!’ is oddly poignant for how you will feel watching this creation of gorilla-grunts, excessive nudity and savage gore.

The premise behind this film is replacing the entirety of its dialogue with apes noises. Whilst sounding like a  particularly vicious scene from an Attenborough documentary, it is wildly ambitious in its goal to tell a successful story without speech. The film appears to echo back to the days of silent films, whilst also harking into the 21st century with a score that ranges from, what can only be described as techno-madness, to string pieces of serenity.

The plot is simplistic, yet necessary due to the challenges that the lack of speech presents. It portrays stories eerily akin to domestic violence scenes from soap operas, brutal fight scenes and family domestics in the home. The seriousness these scenes typically demand are comedically thrown out for dark humour which appears unintentional, but these successes are the joy of the experiment that is the film. The characters are hard to follow and there is a distinct lack of emotional connection with all but two. Lucy Honigman plays a lone female in a vast ocean of alpha males, drifting along the waves their actions create. Through her grunting and physical acting, she gauges an emotional connection, managing to portray an air of depression as her life never appears to truly get any better.

“Aaaaaaaah! is grotesquely comical but seems at times to lose humour in favour of chaos”

In addition to Honigman, Julian Barratt delivers a compellingly-odd performance as Jupiter. He is the former alpha of the house and has been abandoned, like rubbish, to the back garden, living in his own mess, effectively he plays a downtrodden hobo. Director, Steve Oram, places in flashback scenes of Jupiter seemingly ‘discovering himself’ in the wilderness, truly becoming the ape he sounds like. The emotional connection is established as we see he longs for his family and to be a part of the house and society once more. Some eagle-eyed fans may have noticed that Barratt is accompanied by Noel Fielding for a first time since The Mighty Boosh, however, they never come into contact and Boosh will have to wait until Mindhorn is released. Aaaaaaaah! is grotesquely comical but seems at times to lose humour in favour of chaos, such as the nudist house party/rave that demolishes some poor individual’s home with various bodily fluids and ballsacks.

The film appears to attempt to portray deeper meanings like the primitive behaviour of every character denotes messages that we all have primal desires underneath our cosmopolitan front. The film reaches a commendable level of sincerity and the madness seems to have method behind it, yet, you would miss out on the fun if you over-analysed it in such a manner. By destroying the script and grunting for 79 minutes, it takes a rebellious stance in a cinematic landscape filled with explosions and superheroes. Due to this, Aaaaaaaah! enters the world as an artistic experiment which should be applauded for its ballsy concept and Oram’s enthusiasm oozes through with a black-comedic flare.

7/10

George Driscoll

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